And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Linkee-poo Tuesday

"Part of the SpaceX mission has been to create reusable rockets that make spaceflight cheaper, and it has become routine to see the company’s booster rockets return safely to Earth. With today’s launch SpaceX set a new milestone by catching both halves of the nosecone fairing, according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk."

"Climate change is starving polar bears into extinction, according to research published Monday that predicts the apex carnivores could all but disappear within the span of a human lifetime. In some regions they are already caught in a vicious downward spiral, with shrinking sea ice cutting short the time bears have for hunting seals, scientists reported in Nature Climate Change." We're boned.

The stories we tell ourselves, and why they are usually so very wrong. "'Nurturing' and 'empathy' are among the top traits society values in women, a 2017 Pew Research Center survey found. Women are not generally thought of as violent. Shock at Maxwell in part reflects stereotypes about women being gentle, emotional, in need of protection. We don't expect women to harm, and certainly not with the degree of cruelty Maxwell is accused of."

"A female former producer at Fox News, and another woman who appeared frequently as an on-air commentator on the network, have filed a civil lawsuit Monday accusing former longtime anchor Ed Henry of rape, sexual misconduct and harassment… Prominent Fox News commentators Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Howard Kurtz are also named as defendants in the suit, and are accused of sexual misconduct. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York." Looks like a few more people are about to take a long planned vacation.

"'These kids have got to get back to school,' (Missouri Gov. Mike) Parson told Cox. 'They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.'" Dear Southerners, you know how you think the rest of us view you all as backward rednecks? This is one reason why. Elect better government.

"President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask, saying, 'many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can't socially distance' and 'There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President.'" Well, that only took :: check watch :: six months.

"The largest teachers union in Florida sued Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday over his administration's push to fully reopen all public schools next month — even as the number of coronavirus cases in the state is spiking."

"A group of protesters in Portland, Oregon, formed a 'wall of moms' during demonstrations over the weekend as the city saw tensions rise after weeks of unrest that led to the presence of federal authorities."

"According to conservative-media networks, Portland is a city engulfed in 'riots' and 'unrest,' where it’s 'unclear how long this violence will last.'… But this right-wing media—and thus, Trump co-opted—narrative of a disorderly Portland on fire ever since daily protests in the city broke out in response to Minneapolis police killing George Floyd is receiving significant pushback from local media outlets and area residents who are witnessing firsthand the city’s goings-on." Conservatives need you to be afraid. They need to have something small they can knock over to show they're tough.

Meanwhile, on Bullshit Mountain… "As it is, Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, who presides over a city that has become a watchword over the years for left-wing thuggery unchecked by municipal authorities, has roused himself to a state of high dudgeon — over federal officers trying to counter ongoing assaults on a federal building."

Portland was just the preview… "The Trump administration is preparing to send federal agents to Chicago this week, two law enforcement officials tell CNN, as President Donald Trump and top officials are promising to crack down on what they say are violence and the increase in crime in major cities."

"The white St. Louis couple that aimed weapons at Black Lives Matter protesters in front of their home last month was charged with felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon. The charge was announced Monday by Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner weeks after a viral video showed Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both in their 60s, come out of their home pointing weapons, including a semi-automatic rifle, at protesters in the street nearby." Everybody to their corners.

"Ford Motor has developed a racing version of its upcoming all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover with 1,400 horsepower and a top speed that’s not street legal."

How goes the Trade Wars? "The United States is restricting 11 Chinese companies from buying American technology and other goods because it says they're linked to alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang."

"Each year, the (Vanguard) analyzes account data from 5 million retirement accounts. Across these accounts, the typical account balance varies widely by the method used to calculate it — while the average 401(k) savings balance is over $90,000, the median account balance is much less at $22,217, according to Vanguard's latest data, which was calculated in 2019." While some in the industry tout their million dollar clients, this is a little more realistic. What is worrying, though, are the huge differences between "average" and "median."

"A man who said he was armed with weapons and explosives seized a bus in the western Ukrainian city of Lutsk on Tuesday and took a number of people on board hostage, police said… In posts on social media, he demanded that senior Ukrainian officials publish statements saying that they were terrorists. He also threatened to detonate another bomb in a crowded place."

"The White House and Senate Republicans managed to spend the opening day of stimulus negotiations at odds not with Democrats, but with one another… A final GOP proposal expected to sit around $1 trillion, which senators expected to be unveiled by mid-week, has several major holes and unfinished pieces, according to people directly involved. It has been, to say the least, an inauspicious start to a three-week sprint to lock in the second largest economic rescue package in US history." They want to rule, not govern.

Same information, slightly different packaging. "President Donald Trump is throwing a big wrench into negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans over the next coronavirus relief bill by demanding a payroll tax cut be included and funding for testing be reduced or cut completely."

"Judy Shelton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial pick to serve on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate-setting panel, is expected to win narrow backing from the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday, allowing her nomination to advance to consideration by the full Senate… Shelton, a conservative economist who has argued the nation would be better off returning to the gold standard and as recently as 2017 criticized the Fed’s power over money and financial markets as 'quite unhealthy,' drew criticism from Democrats and even some Republicans during a contentious hearing in February." Great. Breaking government one appointment at a time.

"Senate Republican leaders, undeterred by the scathing criticism leveled against them for blocking President Barack Obama's election-year Supreme Court nominee in 2016, are signaling that they are prepared to confirm a nominee by President Donald Trump even if that vacancy occurred after this year's election." Of course they would. Do you really think they have any principles beyond grabbing power by any means necessary?

"President Donald Trump is preparing to sign a range of executive orders as part of a shift in White House strategy to boost Americans' confidence in his leadership amid widespread criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, administration officials said." With his poll numbers sagging he has to be seen to actually be doing something. Anything.

"The Trump administration has been consulting the former government lawyer who wrote the legal justification for waterboarding on how the president might try to rule by decree." Fuck John Yoo.

"Donald Trump Jr. has a new book coming out next month, and he’ll have a powerful ally helping him sell it: the Republican National Committee." You mean the same people who bought his last book. This is my shocked face. And that he's going the self-publishing route to benefit the republicans? Yes, he thinks the rest of us are that stupid. This is a grift, plain and simple.

"A report on Russian interference into British politics was finally published Tuesday, more than a year after allegations surfaced that Moscow sought to meddle in Britain's 2019 general election and following similar claims about its 2016 Brexit vote to leave the European Union and a 2014 failed referendum on Scottish independence." Waves to our Russian friends. "The report also concluded that senior figures with links to Putin's inner circle enjoy access to top British business and political leaders. It said that successive British governments have 'welcomed the oligarchs and their money with open arms, providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London "laundromat," and connections at the highest levels with access to UK companies and political figures.'"

And the BBC's take… "The report is also expected to raise questions as to whether enough has been done by successive governments to counter Moscow."

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